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Blending both traditional education and modern business environments to improve the student experience

Professor Davide Ravasi, Director, UCL School of Management
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Welcoming Students Back to the Bigger and Better UCL School of Management 

Universities and other educational institutions across the country will be familiar with the excitement of welcoming students back to the lecture halls and libraries that form so significant a part of their individual educational experiences.

While lockdown restrictions have for so long made remote learning compulsory, we can look forward to the coming academic year with hope that this is a thing of the past and that students will once again be able to benefit from campus life.

Reaching New Heights

At the UCL School of Management, we’re even more excited as we are unveiling a new space for our students, having expanded the site of the School of Management in partnership with Canary Wharf Group (CWG). During the third term of the 2020/21 academic year, we have opened a new floor, Level 50, in One Canada Square.

Originally, the School of Management operated only out of Level 38 of One Canada Square but we have consistently been oversubscribed. Our postgraduate student numbers have been growing at a rapid rate over the last five years, including a 70% year-on-year throughout 2019/2020 and 2020/2021, meaning that in order to ensure that the we continue to provide high-quality business education, we needed to acquire additional learning space.

Meeting Students’ Needs and Expectations

Prolonged online teaching has made us increasingly mindful of the needs of students, and our new floor contains several new facilities designed to improve the student experience. The new facilities that we have provided on level 50 will offer current and future students a vibrant space that blends both traditional education and modern business environments, as well as showcasing the splendid skyline that the City of London offers.

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As part of the expansion, we have ensured that there is space for more than 90 students to join classes face-to-face in this new lecture theatre. Other facilities on the new floor include a new executive education suite, flexible spaces in which to host conferences and large events on-site, along with built-in video pods to allow seamless interaction with students, colleagues and partners around the world. 6 group study rooms will encourage collaboration and foster community among student cohorts, quiet study space will ensure that it is possible for students to benefit from proximity to the City of London – one of the world’s foremost financial centres and a home to established listed companies as well as over 60 unicorn start-ups – without being subject to its hustle and bustle, and new kitchen facilities will help them sustain themselves as they work to achieve their educational goals.

Our new hybrid lecture theatre is a particular point of pride. As well as being able to accommodate students who are able to attend lectures in person, the theatre is Zoom-enabled, meaning students are able to dial in to a lecture wherever they are and interact with the lecturer seamlessly. For programmes like the UCL MBA which is classroom-based but delivered entirely online, this will be invaluable, and we hope that students will reap the benefits of this innovative setup regardless of their choice of programme.

During the time I’ve already spent in the new floor, I’ve come to appreciate many different parts of it. In addition to the sophistication of the new facilities we’ve provided for our students, one of my personal favourite aspects of L50 is its view over the Thames, the Docklands, and the City of London. As students plan their work in their group study rooms, I like to think that they’ll be able to approach their studies with this view constantly motivating them and reminding them of what is possible in business. That view alone, I believe, is worth coming back to campus for.

Professor Davide Ravasi, Director, UCL School of Management

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